The spoon maker at Fatacil

Local crafts admired

Dear Editor.

As a resident in Carvoeiro, I attend Fatacil regularly and this year, I watched with fascination as an artisan made wooden spoons with an ease that defied the imagination.

Senhor Jorge Santos has been working as an artisan for forty years and attends many fairs throughout the year.

Always with a smile on his face, he applied his trade with practiced ease, taking about five or six minutes to turn a rough block of wood into a completed spoon.

Not only was I impressed by the speed with which he worked, but also by the efficiency of his movements, with not a single wasted cut or gesture.

As a result, I decided to compose the attached piece in an attempt to impart to the reader some of these sentiments.

The spoon maker at Fatacil

The axe bites into the rough piece of wood

Bites again and again, a shape is forming

The chips fly to the floor

A round shape appears

He chips, he cuts, he trims and a handle is born

Years of practice mark the craftsman’s skill

The handle is now straight and smooth

The bowl is rounded and needing work.

Deftly he flips the piece around, catching it easily

And trims the end,

His methods are quick, his movements are precise

Each stroke, each cut has been practised a thousand times

He changes instruments and carves out the bowl of the spoon

With a wicked blade, perfectly curved for gouging.

Another instrument, looking like a miniature scythe, is used

To splice excess off the handle

In carefully calculated strokes, trimming the slivers of wood

At the bowl

No sandpaper is used and in a matter of minutes

The finished spoon is perfectly smooth, rounded and ready for use

Another product made by Senhor Jorge Santos who has been plying his trade

for some forty years.

Derek Dickinson

by email